Somewhere in Somalia, millions of babies continue to die yet the interest of "those who give us freedom" was in Libya, a country that had enjoyed the basics for a long time.
In Peter Tosh's song, the message is clear; who wants Nuclear War? If music has lost its relevance in the past years, the reason is that musicians continue to skirt around issues and their motivation in making music is money. There are some people who dictate what should be sold on the market killing such revolutionary ideas that defined the earlier movement of musicians.
The goodness of music is that it lives a long life just to remind the world how much we have messed up almost everything God provided for free. Why would we need Nuclear War when too many people in Africa are hungry, they are naked and million babies are suffering from malnutrition? Tosh wanted answers surely.
Tosh sums up his criticism declaring that things gonna be much better the day the dollar die. He says there will be no corruption and people will respect each other.
It is sad that the modern generation of musicians, mostly driven by the demands of the market, has abdicated its role quite perfectly.
Yet there are few others who believe the industry across the world is suppressed by puppets financed by large corporations to influence opinion by making music that speak for a minority while the have-nots continue to suffer.
If names really represent the sense hidden inside the human flesh, Third Eye is so far the best thing that local hip-hop star Mandela Mwanza has invented. A normal human being is blessed with two eyes; with those two eyes we see red as green sometimes. This weakness to see a thing in a colour which it is not justifies the many jaundiced judgements we make as human beings.
There are several artists who use their third eye to present the truth. In this category you will rarely find praise-singers who are nothing but an embodiment of mediocrity.
Even the most obvious events in the past week require a third eye. It would be unrealistic if I ignored the events of the past week whose climax was the killing of Libya's most hated figure, according to Western propaganda, Colonel Muammar al Gadaffi. Don't mind the spelling because studies show that this name can be spelt differently more than 100 times.
His death might have sparked jubilation while many more were relieved that they would no longer struggle to spell the former Libyan leader's name. Now that he is gone, Gadaffi will not be as dominant in our daily lexicon.
Yet the problems Africa face still remain. His dream of a unified Africa has gone with him surely. The posts on the myriad social sites would suggest one thing; the evil has been rid of. But the posts by local hip-hop acts Third Eye and AB (Michael Kauka) do better than that. In the two posts, I read influences of rapper Immortal Technique whose ideas have been admired by people seeking justice across the world.
Immortal could have been easily swayed by the market demands that usually dictate what kind of music will sell but that would be at the expense of his free-speech. Known for his criticism of all kinds of oppression, he is the light in the time of darkness; thanks to his third eye.
His song 'Open Your Eyes' is the core of this debate. As he questions democracy, Immortal Technique has an idea of the intentions of the West: "They'll stop at nothing to get what they want. They paint the third world underground as savage and backward, but the superpowers are no less corrupt, they've just learned to disguise it better. Because they fix elections too; they embezzle tax money; they go to war for resources; they fund terrorism for their own benefit."
Yet when we come back home, Wambali Mkandawire presents the same ideas in a language we can understand. Gadaffi's idea of unified Africa reappears. Wambali sings in Wukani: "Africa wukani mwe, mu tulo twinu wukani mwe... jimani mbiri bana binu bamanye, wukani mtulo, wukani mwe/ Lembani mbiri ya unenesko ghose, wukani mtulo, wukani mwe."
Obviously this is a rallying cry to a unified Africa, so Africa can wake up from its slumber. It urges Africans to write history so future generations may know the truth.
But how many artists are ready to write the truth? I can understand how the Western media has corrupted the thinking of Africans that we now regard those traditional dances as backward. This is the reason you will hear of urban music being popular among the youth yet the youth know little about mwinoghe, mganda, vimbuza, soopa, manganje, mjiri, likhuba, chitelela, chimtali, chisamba and beni.
The Western media has done more than that; Africa is still a continent engulfed by darkness that it now needs democracy to bring some light. But democracy alone is not a synonymous to a desirable life.
I now understand how the Libyan situation has been deliberately extorted so it must seem it was a war meant to free our brothers in Libya from the hand of Gadaffi.
That is the reason musicians should not abdicate their role. We still need the voices that value peaceful settlement not war. War has only transferred resources to the 'givers of freedom.'
It reminds me of the story of Pablo Escobar who was accused of smuggling drugs into the US. Loathed by the Americans, he was loved by Colombians because he did not use his money to finance wars; he built hospitals, he built churches, he built schools. These were the facilities the government could have struggled to provide yet he was hunted and killed.
Musicians, who will expose the ill-intentions masked in such words as democracy, are in short supply. Arts cannot be detached from history because creating music and writing scripts require an understanding of what our world has been. That is how we would have arts capable of liberating the mind.